The Fat Spy
Off the coast of Florida, a nearly-deserted island is rumored to have the fountain of youth.
A boatload of teenage kids are headed there for a scavenger hunt. Wellington, the island's wealthy owner, is none too happy about that, so he dispatches his daughter, Junior, to get rid of them. She's happy to go because her sweetie, Irving, is the island's only resident.
Junior sends Irving to spy on the kids to find out what they know. Irving's twin brother, Herman, and Herman's high-school sweetheart, Camille Salamander, are also headed for the island with their own nefarious plans. Is the fountain of youth real, and if so, who will get to it first?
December 22, 2013
This film is one that was unfairly and completely inappropriately overlooked. In truth, it is head and shoulders above any of the 'official' beach party films, with an amazingly good soundtrack. This is the kind of soundtrack that is so strong, I would like to find it in good quality, just to listen to it; the lyrics are so well-done, and in a number of songs so witty and hilarious.
The script is about the same as any beach party film: twenty-somethings (parading about pretending to be teens) flounce about in next to nothing while a more serious story unfolds around them. This one is noteworthy in that its attractive male leads are given just as many slow, indulgent pans-ups and downs as their female counterparts, which is a unique quality. The story is also hilariously irreverent and seems, more or less, to be a commentary itself on the beach party genre by tackling the whole thing utterly tongue-in-cheek.
Phyllis Diller and Jack Leonard are a joy, Jayne Mansfield is, as always, delightful and charming, and Brian Donlevy is a dramatic powerhouse. The beach party hijinks take a back seat to all of these fantastic actors' plot, and it's better that way. But all the densely-packed songs really make it soar higher than any of its contemporaries.
I grabbed this expecting nothing much, but I found myself endlessly amused by the film, whether from its excellent musical numbers or hilarious interactions between the various characters well-acted by some of my favourite actors and comedians. It has a kind of accessibility due to having a very realistic and authentic feeling, but at the same time it engages in some pretty over-the-top fun that will keep viewers entertained.
Do yourself a favour, get The Fat Spy, mix some drinks, and watch it with some friends. Let yourself laugh and dance and have fun, because this is one of the most entertaining films you can grab.